“This is the next step in our evolution,” said Fastook, who oversaw the set’s design and construction, adding it “puts us smack dab into the middle of the trading floor. You can't get closer to the action than that.”
By sheer size alone, the set is impressive. It measures 12 feet by 23 feet. The set weighs 17,000 pounds with the anchor desk alone coming in at almost 1,000 pounds. Due to the weight, the NYSE had to place steel framing under the floor below to support it.
The set is clad with tempered glass, brushed aluminum and a composite surface that is used for skyscrapers. That material covers a welded aluminum superstructure.
From a technical standpoint, the set is mindboggling. It contains 36,000 feet of video and data cabling, 10,000 feet of fiber optic and has 60 access panels built into its raised floor. The set, and all of CNBC’s resources at NYSE are now high-definition, running on 15 uncompressed fibers back and forth to its headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J. In total, there is 200 miles of fiber between the Exchange and Englewood Cliffs.
The set features five LED television monitors, including a large touch screen that will allow commentators to draw trend lines, make notes and highlight market date. It also has five ultra-miniature HD robotic cameras on a custom made track system.
“When I first looked at those cameras, I didn’t know they were cameras,” Faber said, using his fingers to indicate just how small the cameras are.
Despite its size and grandeur, the set is energy efficient. The whole set draws about as much electricity as a window air conditioner. It’s lighted by more than 5,000 LED bulbs. There is not a single incandescent or fluorescent light bulb on the set.
“I’ve been building sets forever,” Fastook said. “But this is the most impressive thing I’ve ever been been involved with.”
Check out the ribbon-cutting ceremony by watching the video.